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UP TMC prof: Without undersea cable, Dito’s internet speed may be compromised

THE PROMISED internet speed, including its rollout date, may be compromised in case the partnership of Dito and state-owned China Telecom fails to put in place possible backup plans for the junking of the US-Hong Kong submarine cable project, said Prof. Glen Imbang, of the University of the Philippines.

The UP professor at the Technological Management Center was reacting to news reports about Google and Facebook. Inc. dropping their planned undersea cable between the United States and Hong Kong after the Trump administration said Beijing might use the link to collect information on Americans.

The withdrawal of plans by the two social media sites for a submarine cable link was also an offshoot of the escalating tension between the US and China over a series of conflicts, one of them is America’s accusations that Chinese high-tech products could be used for spying.

He said that after the withdrawal of the planned US-Hong Kong submarine cable, the third telco has two viable but costly options to hold on to its promised internet speed when it was awarded the frachise to break the country’s telecom business duopoly.

“Build its own undersea cable or go into rocket science or satellite for the data transmission,” said Prof. Imbang, who explained that using satellite feeds for
Its internet connectivity is very costly.

According to the UP professor, if Dito will opt to build its own submarine cable, then it’s the rollout timeline that will be imperilled because it will take a minimum of five years to develop an international undersea cable link.

Dito, a 60-40 partnership of state-owned China Telecom and Udenna consortium, had promised early on to provide internet access to at least a third of the country’s over a hundred million population at a minimum speed of 27 megabits (Mbps) scheduled to rollout supposedly last July 8, 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic has reportedly given the third telco reasonable excuse for its prolonged rollout delay.

This developed as residents of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Officers Village, Inc. in Taguig City strongly opposed Dito’s reported plan to erect around twenty (20) 5G cell towers in their community.

One of the reasons cited in an online petition by mostly retired and active military men is the cybersecurity issue “since our village is a community of former military officers and our place is also very near to the headquarters of the Army, Navy and Air Force and about 40 residents in our place are holding key government positions.”